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Villeurbanne
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Yes that's the point of my post... I also posted the video in the oasis thread about françafrique for that reason ^^... But it is more a matter of privilege and how African nations should be careful about who they open some markets to...

I mean, China did not close its doors to Google, Facebook and friends for no reason... They did not care about the other nations accusing them of copycat... They have their own internet ecosystem now and are able to develop their own solutions.

Hopefully that's what African startups are trying to achieve... With or without the support of African nations...
 

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yongtong
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Discussion Starter #63
Tremendoc: A Doctor-On-Demand app launches and unveils Its brand ambassador Osas Ighodaro


In Nigeria today, millions of citizens are constantly on the move and often times they are too busy to sit in waiting rooms for hours to consult with a medical doctor or healthcare specialist. Affordability and accessibility to quality healthcare is also a huge challenge in Nigeria as well. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization released statistics showing that there are 4 medical doctors to every 10,000 Nigerians. With an estimation of four doctors for every 10,000 inhabitants in the country, More than 40,000 of 75,000 registered medical doctors in Nigeria are practicing outside the country while 70% of the medical doctors in the country are either unemployed or have taken up side jobs to survive. Needless to say, the doctor to patient ratio is alarmingly low in Nigeria and one can imagine how crowded hospitals can be across the country especially in the more urbanized areas.



In response to this, Founder of TremenDoc, Jay Chikezie, who is also the Co-founder of Nairabox relaunched an application that has the capacity to revolutionize the healthcare sector of Nigeria on the 21st of August. The new app, named TremenDoc, is designed to provide a convenient and affordable avenue for users to access licensed doctors one on one at any time of the day via audio call, video call or text. Not only is a healthier life just an app away, but doctors also have a convenient avenue to consult. In other words, TremenDoc provides quality healthcare literally at your fingertips. To drive this narrative, Osas Ighodaro Ajibade has joined the TremenDoc team as the brand ambassador.


Award-winning actress, humanitarian and philanthropist Osas Ighodaro Ajibade, years ago lost both her sister and her unborn child to the common disease, malaria, she firmly believes early and proper diagnosis would have prevented this tragic and life-changing incident. This is why she is so passionate about what Tremendoc stands for. “ After dealing with the traumatic experience of losing my sister, I knew that something had to change in Nigeria’s healthcare system. That’s why I’m so on board with the release of the TREMENDOC app. It could have helped my sister and it can help so many lives across Nigeria.” says Osas Ighadoro.

Osas Ighodaro


According to the founder of Tremendoc, Jay Chikieze: “Tremendoc is the best solution to Nigeria’s healthcare issue. It is fast, it’s affordable and it’s super convenient. It’s literally as convenient as chatting to friends on social media. I felt it was important to create and promote this app to improve the landscape of the country’s health sector and create a better and healthier Nigeria.”


From left to right – Ugochukwu Jay Chikezie, Founder/CEO, Tremendoc Limited, Professor Danesi – Professor Neurology Lagos College of Medicine, MD Sterling Bank – Abubakar Suleiman and Yusuf Agbolahan – Sterling Bank Head Innovation


To use TremenDoc, Simply download the application from the App Store or Play store. First-time users have the opportunity for a free 30-day trial that gives them access to licensed doctors 24/7, through video call, audio call or chat. After the trial is over, they can decide to carry on with the service with a subscription fee of N1000/monthly.


From Left to Right – Ozioma Udochukwu – Operations Manager Tremendoc, Charlotte Odunlade-Akeju, Chief Business Director Ayomibo Eweje- Business Development Officer.

TremenDoc…the new doctor in your pocket.

From left to right: Ugochukwu Jay Chikezie, Founder/CEO, Tremendoc Limited, Charlotte Odunlade-Akeju, Chief Business Director and Adetokunbo Adetona,Chief Financial Officer


From left to right: Adetokunbo Adetona,Chief Financial Officer and Ugochukwu Jay Chikezie, Founder/CEO, Tremendoc Limited


Charlotte Odunlade-Akeju, Chief Business Director
 

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yongtong
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279 Posts
Discussion Starter #65
You can now borrow to pay electricity bills on BuyPower.ng
Utility payment platform and app, BuyPower.ng has launched a new payment feature which allows users to borrow money to pay their electricity bills online (via the BuyPower.ng website) or through their mobile app (Google Play Store or App store). The new ‘pay with a kwikmoney loan’ feature aims to improve access to credit for current and potential users of the platform.

BuyPower.ng let users pay electricity bills for both prepaid and postpaid meters. While prepaid meters get value in the form of tokens, which are converted to units, postpaid meters get receipts which can be tendered anywhere it is requested.

Currently, BuyPower.ng offers a variety of payment options for their customers including payment by card, bank transfers, instant transfers, USSD code and now, a loan option. This variety offered by the platform is only one of the reasons it is the best go-to platform when it comes to utility payments.

Speaking on the new payment option, CEO and co-founder, Ojima Benjamin Ufaruna said that, “At BuyPower, we do not take customer satisfaction for granted. In fact, all we aim to do is continue to groom happy customers. Hence, this partnership with kwikmoney to allow users to borrow to pay their bills is one that is very important.”

“While access to credit by consumers is a very big issue, I strongly believe that partnerships like this would improve the status quo and expose more people to loans. BuyPower.ng is the first utility payment platform to come up with this and we have plans to keep innovating and playing around potential solutions for our large base of customers.”

The new ‘pay with a kwikmoney loan’ option is available on the BuyPower checkout page and shows up to eligible customers. And like other payment methods available, offers a seamless experience for users.

Other noticeable features on BuyPower.ng includes; Meter Consumption History, Reminders, Payment with instant transfers, an in-app wallet and more. Truly, they are bringing convenience to the doorsteps of households in Nigeria.
 

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2019 Africa Roundup: Jumia IPOs, China goes digital, Nigeria becomes fintech capital​

Jake Bright, TechCrunch•December 30, 2019

2019 brought more global attention to Africa's tech scene than perhaps any previous year.

A high-profile IPO, visits by both Jacks (Ma and Dorsey) and big Chinese startup investment energized that.

The last 12 months served as a grande finale to 10 years that saw triple-digit increases in startup formation and VC on the continent.

Here’s an overview of the 2019 market events that captured attention and capped off a decade of rapid growth in African tech.

IPOs

The story of the year is the April IPO on the NYSE of Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia. This was the first listing of a VC-backed tech company operating in Africa on a major global exchange — which brought its own unpredictability.

Founded in 2012, Jumia pioneered much of its infrastructure to sell goods to consumers online in Africa.

With Nigeria as its base market, the Rocket Internet-backed company created accompanying delivery and payments services and went on to expand online verticals into 14 African countries (though it recently exited a few). Jumia now sells everything from mobile phones to diapers, and offers online services such as food-delivery and classifieds.

Seven years after its operational launch, Jumia's stock debut kicked off with fanfare in 2019, only to be followed by volatility.

The online retailer gained investor confidence out of the gate, more than doubling its $14.95 opening share price post-IPO.

That lasted until May, when Jumia’s stock came under attack from short-seller Andrew Left, whose firm Citron Research issued a report accusing the company of fraud. The American activist investor's case was bolstered, in part, by a debate that played out across Africa’s tech ecosystem on Jumia’s legitimacy as an African startup, given its (primarily) European senior management.

The entire affair was further complicated by Jumia's second-quarter earnings call when the company disclosed a fraud perpetrated by some of its employees and sales agents. Jumia's CEO Sacha Poignonnec emphasized the matter was closed, financially marginal and not the same as Andrew Left's short-sell claims.

Whatever the balance, Jumia's 2019 ups and downs cast a cloud over its stock with investors. Since the company's third-quarter earnings-call, Jumia's NYSE share-price has lingered at around $6 — less than half of its original $14.95 opening, and roughly 80% lower than its high.

Even with Jumia's post-IPO rocky road, the continent’s leading e-commerce company still has a heap of capital and is on pace to generate more than $100 million in revenues in 2019 (albeit with big losses).

The company plans to reduce costs by generating more revenue from higher-margin internet services, such as payments and classifieds.

There's a fairly simple equation for Jumia to rebuild shareholder confidence in 2020: avoid scandals and increase revenues over losses. And now that the company is publicly traded — with financial reporting requirements — there'll be four earnings calls a year to evaluate Jumia's progress.

Jumia may not be the continent's standout IPO for much longer. Events in 2019 point to Interswitch becoming the second African digital company to list on a global exchange in 2020. The Nigerian fintech firm confirmed to TechCrunch in November it had reached a billion-dollar unicorn valuation, after a (reported) $200 million investment by Visa.

Founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch created much of the initial infrastructure to digitize Nigeria’s (then) predominantly cash-based economy. Interswitch has been teasing a public listing since 2016, but delayed it for various reasons. With the company's billion-dollar valuation in 2019, that pause is likely to end.

“An [Interswitch] IPO is still very much in the cards; likely sometime in the first half of 2020,” a source with knowledge of the situation told TechCrunch.
China-Africa goes digital

2019 was the year when Chinese actors pivoted to African tech. China is known for its strategic relationship with Africa, based (largely) on trade and infrastructure. Over the last 10 years, the country has been less engaged in the continent's digital scene.

That was until a torrent of investment and partnerships this past year.

July saw Chinese-owned Opera raise $50 million in venture spending to support its growing West African digital commercial network, which includes browser, payments and ride-hail services.

In August, San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech startup Flutterwave partnered with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba’s Alipay to offer digital payments between Africa and China.

In September, China's Transsion — the largest smartphone seller in Africa — listed in an IPO on Shanghai’s new STAR Market. The company raised ≈ $394 million, some of which it is directing toward venture funding and operational expansion in Africa.

The last quarter of 2019 brought a November surprise from China in African tech. More than 15 Chinese investors placed over $240 million in three rounds. Transsion-backed consumer payments startup PalmPay raised a $40 million seed, stating its goal to become “Africa’s largest financial services platform.”

Chinese investors also backed Opera-owned OPay's $120 million raise and East-African trucking logistics company Lori Systems' (reported) $30 million Series B.

In the new year, TechCrunch will continue to cover the business arc of this surge in Chinese tech investment in Africa. There'll surely be a number of fresh macro news points to develop, given the debate (and critique) of China’s engagement with Africa.
Nigeria and fintech

On debate, the case could be made that 2019 was the year when Nigeria become Africa’s unofficial capital for fintech investment and digital finance startups.

Kenya has held this title hereto, with the local success and global acclaim of its M-Pesa mobile-money product. But more founders and VCs are opting for Nigeria as the epicenter for digital finance growth on the continent.

A rough tally of 2019 TechCrunch coverage — including previously mentioned rounds — pegs fintech-related investment in the West African country at around $400 million over the last 12 months. That's equivalent to roughly one-third of all startup VC raised for the entire continent in 2018, according to Partech stats.

From OPay to PalmPay to Visa — startups, big finance companies and investors are making Nigeria home-base for their digital finance operations and Africa expansion strategies.

The founder of early-stage payment startup ChipperCash, Ham Serunjogi, explained the imperative to operating there. “Nigeria is the largest economy and most populous country in Africa. Its fintech industry is one of the most advanced in Africa, up there with Kenya and South Africa,” he told TechCrunch in May.

When all the 2019 VC numbers are counted, it will be worth matching up fintech stats for Nigeria to Kenya to see how the countries compared.
Acquisitions

Tech acquisitions continue to be somewhat rare in Africa, but there were several to note in 2019. Two of the continent's powerhouse tech incubators joined forces in September, when Nigerian innovation center and seed-fund CcHub acquired Nairobi-based iHub, for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition brought together Africa’s most powerful tech hubs by membership networks, volume of programs, startups incubated and global visibility. It also elevated the standing of CcHub's Bosun Tijani across Africa's tech ecosystem, as the CEO of the new joint entity, which also has a VC arm.

CcHub/iHub CEO Bosun Tijani

In other acquisition activity, French television company Canal+ acquired the ROK film studio from Nigerian VOD company IROKOtv for an undisclosed amount. The deal put ROK founder and producer Mary Njoku in charge of a new organization with larger scope and resources.

Many outside Africa aren't aware that Nigeria's Nollywood is the Hollywood of the continent, and one of the largest film industries in the world (by production volume). Canal+ told TechCrunch it looks to bring Mary and the Nollywood production ethos to produce content in French-speaking African countries.

Other notable 2019 African tech takeovers included Kenyan internet company BRCK's acquisition of ISP Surf, Nigerian digital-lending startup OneFi's Amplify buy and Merck KGaa's purchase of Kenya-based online healthtech company ConnectMed.

Moto ride-hail mania
In 2019, Africa’s motorcycle ride-hail market — worth an estimated $4 billion — saw a flurry of investment and expansion by startups looking to scale on-demand taxi services. Uber and Bolt got into the motorcycle taxi business in Africa in 2018.

Ampersand in Rwanda
A number of local and foreign startups have continued to grow in key countries, such as Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.

A battle for funding and market share emerged in Nigeria in 2019, between key moto ride-hail startups MAX.ng, Gokada and Opera-owned ORide.

The on-demand motorcycle market in Africa has attracted foreign investment and moved toward EV development. In May, MAX.ng raised a $7 million Series A round with participation from Yamaha and is using a portion to pilot renewable energy powered e-motorcycles in Africa.

In August, the government of Rwanda announced a national policy to phase out gas-motorcycle taxis altogether in favor of e-motos, in partnership with early-stage EV startup Ampersand.
New funds

The past year saw several new funding initiatives for Africa's startups. Senegalese VC investor Marieme Diop spearheaded Dakar Network Angels, a seed-fund for startups in French-speaking Africa — or 24 of the continent’s 54 countries.

Africinvest teamed up with Cathay Innovation to announce the Cathay Africinvest Innovation Fund, a $100+ million capital pool aimed at Series A to C-stage startup investments in fintech, logistics, AI, ag tech and education tech.

Accion Venture Lab launched a $24 million fintech fund open to African startups.

And Naspers offered more details on who can pitch to its 1.4 billion rand (≈$100 million) Naspers Foundry fund, which made its first investment in online cleaning services company SweepSouth.
Closed up shop

Like any tech ecosystem, not every startup in Africa killed it or even continued to tread water in 2019. Two e-commerce companies — DealDey in Nigeria and Afrimarket in Ivory Coast — closed up digital shop.

Southern Africa's Econet Media shut down its Kwese TV digital entertainment business in August.

And South Africa-based, Pan African-focused cryptocurrency payment startup Wala ceased operations in June. Founder Tricia Martinez named the continent's poor infrastructure as one of the culprits to shutting down. A possible signal to the startup's demise could have been its 2017 ICO, where Wala netted only 4% of its $30 million token offering.
Africa's startups go global

2019 saw more startups expand to new markets abroad products and business models developed in Africa. In March, FlexClub — a South African venture that matches investors and drivers to cars for ride-hailing services — announced its expansion to Mexico in a partnership with Uber.

In May, Extra Crunch profiled three African-founded fintech startups — Flutterwave, Migo and ChipperCash — developing their business models strategically in Africa toward plans to expand globally.

By December, Migo (formerly branded Mines) had announced its expansion to Brazil on a $20 million Series B raise.
2020 and beyond

As we look to what could come in the new year and decade for African tech, it's telling to look back. Ten years ago, there were a lot of "if" questions on whether the continent's ecosystem could produce certain events: billion-dollar startup valuations, IPOs on major exchanges, global expansion, investment from the world's top VCs.

All those questionable events of the past have become reality in African tech, even if some of them are still in low abundance.

There's no crystal ball for any innovation ecosystem — not the least Africa's — but there are several things I'll be on the lookout for in 2020 and beyond.

In the near term I'll start with what Twitter/Square CEO Jack Dorsey may do around Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on his return to Africa (lookout for an upcoming TechCrunch feature on this).

I'll also follow the next-phase of e-commerce in Africa, which could pit Jumia more competitively against DHL's Africa eShop, Opera and China's Alibaba (which hasn't yet entered Africa in full).

On a longer-term basis, a development to follow is how the continent's first wave of millionaire and billionaire tech-founders could disrupt 21st century dynamics in Africa around politics, power and philanthropy — hopefully for the better.

More notable 2019 Africa-related coverage @TechCrunch

Source: TechCrunch
 

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Verve could be Visa’s ticket to snatching Nigeria’s PoS card market from Mastercard



Visa may be the second-largest card provider in the world after UnionPay, but it is failing to replicate that feat in Nigeria where Mastercard has the biggest share of card brands used on Point of Sale (PoS) transactions in the country. But a flurry of investments in Nigerian-based payment firms in recent times, including a 20 percent stake in Interswitch could give Visa a fighting chance.

Card-based payments which include debit cards, credit cards and prepaid and cash cards are becoming popular and authorities in Nigeria see them as a major vehicle for increasing cashless transactions and reducing the pervasive use of cash. Hence, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the deposit money banks and payment system providers are making frantic efforts to promote the use of cards in making payment.

Data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) shows that Mastercard continues to be the leading card brand used on PoS with 104 million transactions (55.3%), representing a 48 percent increase in the first half of 2019. Visa accounts for 31.3 million cards (16.6%) used on PoS transactions between January and June 2019, representing an 52 percent increase from the same period in 2018. The second position is Verve which controls 52.7 million cards used on PoS in Nigeria representing a 81 percent growth compared to market shares in June 2018.

Data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria in September, however, show that the figures may have moved even farther northward as the total volume of PoS transactions stood at 309 million.



In November, Interswitch sold a 20 percent minority equity stake worth $200 million to Visa, which led to the former becoming one of the most valuable African Fintech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion and the first Nigerian payment company to become a unicorn. Visa’s acquisition also put it in league with existing Interswitch shareholders such as Helios Investment Partners, TA Associates and IFC alongside company management.

Aside from running a switching and processing services, Interswitch owns Verve which is arguably the largest domestic debit card scheme in Africa with more than 19 million cards activated on its network as of May 2019. Interswitch also owns Quickteller, a multichannel consumer payments platforms, driving financial financial inclusion across Nigeria with over 270,000 access points, as of 2018, from which consumers can initiate peer-to-peer transfers, bill payments, airtime purchases, and other e-commerce transactions, processing over 42 million transactions monthly as of 31 July 2019 (equivalent to over NGN560 billion (US$1.5 billion) through direct, indirect and Paypoint channels).

Although merging the Visa card and Verve card may not be on the table at the moment, the 20 percent equity allows Visa to grow its portfolio in the industry in Nigeria.

It should also be noted that it is not the first time Visa and Interswitch are allying. In 2017, both companies partnered to scale the adoption of mobile payments throughout West Africa. As a result of the partnership, there was an upgrade and switch to the mVisa platform which saved merchants the cost of deploying PoS terminals by accepting payments on the mVisa platform.

Notwithstanding, Mastercard may have anticipated the oncoming challenge from Visa. In March 2019, months before Visa would invest in Interswitch, Mastercard invested $300 million in Dubai-based Network International ahead of its stock market debut in London. Network International is the largest payment processor in the Middle East and Africa. the deal made Mastercard the fourth biggest shareholder of Network International behind General Atlantic, Warburg Pincus, and Emirates NBD.

POS card transactions in Nigeria are expected to grow at a CAGR of 63 percent between 2018 and 2023. As a payment expert noted, the rush to build stakes in African businesses by Visa and Mastercard is being driven by a desire to take advantage of established platforms in markets that are both fast-growing and under-penetrated. However, while Mastercard’s investment in Network International may have helped it secure its share in two markets – Africa and the Middle East, Visa’s relationship with Interswitch – an entrenched domestic player – may prove a master stroke as it hopes to tap from the domestic strength of Interswitch.

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Mobile payments in Nigeria have grown 391% in 1 year



Mobile payments in Nigeria are growing at an incredible pace according to data from the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS). Latest data shows mobile payments have increased by 391% since May 2019. These are transactions happening on mobile apps and mobile wallets operated by services including OPay, Paga and FirstMonie. Transaction volume and value have ballooned, especially in 2020.

In January 2020, the volume of mobile payments topped 7.4 million transactions, up from just 724,803 in January 2019. That impressive growth has been consistent with payment traction trends since July 2019. The value of transactions between July 2019 and December 2019 nearly three times larger than the previous six months. In 2020, transaction activity has continued to rise thanks to greater adoption of payments using mobile phones and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Focused on digitising banking for Nigeria’s unbanked population, mobile money operators use agents to provide these services in different locations, particularly rural areas. Between 2017 and 2019, this was the singular most important approach to driving mobile money penetration. “Till late last year, the bulk of our transactions was really people going to those physical locations,” Tayo Oviosu, CEO of mobile money service, Paga told CNN in late May. “[W]ith 25,000 agents in a country where there are not that many ATMs it was providing a service to the banked and the unbanked [and] continues to.”

“[But] we are now seeing a trend towards digital and we would also be pushing and driving towards that. And what is going on with COVID-19 is helping to accelerate that.” Since mid-2019, different services have used digital alternatives to drive adoption of mobile money services. OPay is one of them. By leveraging the digital route, the company claims it grew from 100,000 users in early 2019 to 5 million in 2020. According to data seen by TechCabal, OPay dominates the mobile payments business, accounting for 60% or ₦102.4 billion of the total value of transactions in April which was ₦172.1 billion. Paga and FirstMonie are the other big players, with the former claiming to have over 15 million users.

The pandemic has impacted the growth of mobile money over the last three months. In April, when Nigeria’s lockdown started, the volume of mobile payments declined 19.6%. It restricted commercial activity to essential services like food and forced people into their homes. With fewer commercial activity, there was less need to make physical transactions with agents. And with the lockdown lasting for an initial two weeks, many people in the low-income band were forced to hold on to cash till after the lockdown. The pandemic also made the use of paper money a health issue, forcing people to switch to digital payments and mobile wallets.

In May, Paga disclosed it was seeing an increase in new signups and an “uptick” in digital transactions. “We’ve seen in this quarter, it’s not yet over, but in Q2 we’ve seen over 330% quarter-on-quarter growth in new signups for the Paga wallet,” Tayo Oviosu told CNN. “And this is people using 242, so these are mostly people with basic mobile phones registering for the account.” “And we’ve seen an uptick in the transactions that we’re getting from people using Paga on their own as they look for options since they’re not able to go out to fund their transactions,” he added.

By May, as Nigeria’s lockdown measures eased, commercial activity slowly returned and mobile money went back into growth territory. Despite a heavily depressed economy, volume and value of mobile payments have soared to its highest ever. In that month, 9.5 million transactions, worth ₦230 billion were made. This growth could continue in subsequent months, as OPay and Paga double down on their digital strategies.

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